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How to File a Lawsuit

How to File a Lawsuit (PDF)


Sometimes, you may find yourself in a situation where you need to start a lawsuit. If this is the case for you, you’ll want to be knowledgeable about the steps involved. Here’s what you need to know about a lawsuit and what it entails.

Speaking from personal experience, if you find yourself in need of a lawyer to protect your interests or enforce your rights, it is unlikely that you will succeed without one. I’ll give a brief overview for those who find themselves in this position. This does not mean that you can’t go through the process on your own, but it is unlikely that you will get anywhere without the help of someone who has gone through the legal system and understands how to work through such matters.

Judges gavel on book and wooden table. Law and justice concept b

Follow these steps to file a lawsuit:

To start, go to an official government website of Georgia. Write your complaint directly on this website (your full name, address, and contact information should be included). The defendant’s name and address should also be included. You should state how much you’re looking for in monetary damages or what action you are trying to prevent the defendant from taking. Punitive damages are only authorized in specified cases that are considered especially egregious. An example of this would be someone driving under the influence.

Next, you’ll need to briefly list why the defendant is being sued and what incidents are at the root of the complaint. You should even include dates with the relevant details. After that, attach copies of any important documents you may have access to such as contracts, receipts, and canceled checks. The originals can be kept for later use.

Rightfully so, suing someone can be a scary process. If you want to take that step, the first thing is figuring out where the parties reside or have property. Next, you’ll need to fill out paperwork and pay a filing fee. If you don’t live in a county that allows for process servers, the clerk of the court can tell you where to go next. Once the defendant has been served with your lawsuit they’ll have 30 days in which to file any counter-claims against you before up goes your preliminary hearing. At this point, you’ll get your trial date. Overwhelming? Yes! But litigation is an important right we have in America and thankfully it’s not as impossible as it sounds. There are deadlines and rules that both parties must abide by during this lengthy process.

If you want to find a lawyer that will work with you on contingency, there are plenty of law offices out there. If you’re trying to enforce your rights under a contract but can’t afford legal representation, think of Legal Aid or if an attorney can take the case pro-bono (for free). 

If you’ve been in an accident and need an injury and accident lawyer, please contact an injury and accident attorney before taking legal action, or consult an injury and accident lawyer before taking legal action. If you’ve been in a car wreck and want to make sure you get a fair deal from the insurance company, call ATLINJ at (404) 981-5313.

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